Airports in New York will get a funding boon under a state budget plan awaiting the governor’s signature.
The budget includes increased funding for the state’s 90 public-use airports—a move backed by AOPA and the New York Aviation Management Association (NYAMA) that would ensure airports of all sizes statewide have access to money for infrastructure and improvement projects.
Specifically, AOPA and industry partners had asked state lawmakers to increase the Airport Capital Grant Program funding from $10 million to $40 million—something the budget does. The budget also raises the project funding cap from $1 million to $1.5 million.
“Earlier budget proposals would have provided funding for the state’s largest airports while completely leaving out most general aviation facilities, including those in dire need of maintenance and improvement,” said Sean Collins, AOPA eastern regional manager. “We’re very pleased that lawmakers listened to our concerns and took steps to ensure that smaller airports will have access to needed funding.”
In addition to the increased capital grant monies, the budget includes an Upstate Airport Economic Development and Revitalization Competition that will award $40 million for infrastructure and improvement projects to each of five winning airports. That program was championed by the governor in the wake of comments from Vice President Joe Biden likening New York’s LaGuardia Airport to a “third world” facility.